Accomplishing structural change: identifying intermediate indicators of success

Am J Community Psychol. 2013 Mar;51(1-2):232-42. doi: 10.1007/s10464-012-9544-4.


Coalitions are routinely employed across the United States as a method of mobilizing communities to improve local conditions that impact on citizens' well-being. Success in achieving specific objectives for environmental or structural community change may not quickly translate into improved population outcomes in the community, posing a dilemma for coalitions that pursue changes that focus on altering community conditions. Considerable effort by communities to plan for and pursue structural change objectives, without evidence of logical and appropriate intermediate markers of success could lead to wasted effort. Yet, the current literature provides little guidance on how coalitions might select intermediate indicators of achievement to judge their progress and the utility of their effort. The current paper explores the strengths and weaknesses of various indicators of intermediate success in creating structural changes among a sample of 13 coalitions organized to prevent exposure to HIV among high-risk adolescents in their local communities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Community Networks / organization & administration*
  • Efficiency, Organizational*
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Organizational Objectives
  • Public Health
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care*
  • United States